The Important Things In Life
Life often gets so busy that we forget about the important things. We become consumed with work, chores, clients and getting stuff done that we seldom take the time to just relax and appreciate the good things we have. I have to admit that I am frequently guilty of this. I become so immersed in accomplishing things and doing the most I can that I find myself complaining that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
But it’s not the amount of hours in the day that is the problem, it’s what you devote your time to. What is really important to you? When you go to bed at night are you more proud of the time you’ve spent with your family and friends or the hours you’ve spent working and cleaning?
It’s a lesson I’ve struggled to learn in the past and something I am still working on for my future. But one thing is for sure, this parable really puts things in to perspective.
In the jar that represents your own life, is it filled with the things that really matter?
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some
items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up
a very large and empty mason jar and proceeded
to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and
poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full..
The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
The professor then produced two beers from
under the table and poured the entire contents
into the jar effectively filling the empty space
between the sand.The students laughed…
‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided,
‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things—your family,
your children, your health, your friends and your
favorite passions—and if everything else was lost
and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter
like your job, your house and your car..
The sand is everything else—the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued,
‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff
you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house
and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’
One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.
The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.’